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Rationality Quotes December 2012

We don't expect kittens to fight wildcats and win - we merely expect them to try.

--Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

I'm not talking about the mindkilling politics of Starship Troopers today. The quote's about doing the impossible. A while back Kyre posted a link to Minus #37, and without context, it hit me like a knife in the guts. I didn't know that she was a godlike reality-bender. To me she was just a kid who stepped up to take a swing, she was Tiffany Aching.

2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey

Did the entire thing weeks ago. Only commenting to log my prediction, I have high confidence that V nz gur bayl Svyvcvab ba YrffJebat.

Open Thread, November 16–30, 2012

They give away the fat Sunday edition at the park where I jog. And yeah, I shelved it, read a few pages a week later, then tossed it. I agree, low impact, and paper is low status. Cool people are on the internet.

Teaching English in Shanghai

Yeah, a cousin does proofreader work there, but apparently there's a strong preference for permanent residents. The penalties for illegal work are quite stiff; I'm not that desperate. Well, I'll see what the territory's really like when I get there.

Teaching English in Shanghai

I'm going to Singapore for the holidays, and to check out the job market there. Teaching English could be an option, I speak idiomatic American. Heck, I'd take almost anything there to get out of the Third World. Anybody know the Singapore scene?

Rationality Quotes November 2012

Can you recommend similar novels?

How about R. Scott Bakker's Disciple of the Dog and Neuropath? YMMV on his Second Apocalypse books.

Rationality Quotes November 2012

Currency is binary, either genuine or counterfeit. Ideas are on a continuum, some less wrong than others. Generally, bad ideas are dangerous because there's some truth or utility to them; few people are seduced by palpable nonsense. Parsing mixed ideas is a big part of rationality, and it's harder than spotting fake money.

Rationality Quotes October 2012

We keep the wheel turning slowly and smoothly. Some anonymous Corpsman put it into words a long time ago: "When in doubt, delay the big ones and speed the little ones.''

--Frank Herbert, The Tactful Saboteur

A good heuristic. Barack Obama limits his wardrobe choices, Feynman decides to just always order chocolate ice cream for dessert. Leaves more time and energy for important stuff.

Open Thread: October 2009

Took a crack at it again, just now worked out how to change directories in a terminal.

How I Ended Up Non-Ambitious

I watched Grave of the Fireflies for the first time last night. Cried a bit. And even now, Millions and millions dead. But it doesn't have to be this way. More is possible. Maybe someday, no more kids dying, no more human beings dying. If I need a crusade, that can work.

Traditional rationality tells us that just contributing to society helps move us forward. Transhumanism and LessWrong's about groping, fumbling, toward optimizing how we contribute. Hacks and shortcuts, fixing inefficiencies, so maybe eventually our species will move up the Khardashev scale.

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